Bergen County, NJ -02/10/2014
Michael Sam, a former defensive end for the University of Missouri recently came out. This wouldn’t be such a big deal but Sam is expected to be a high round draft pick in the NFL draft this May. Avid football fan Anthony Amado is very interested to see how this whole situation plays out, if Sam is drafted.
An openly out gay NFL player could mean big things not only for the sport of football but also for the entire sports word. An out NFL player like Sam could have the potential to help currently closeted NFL players less scared about coming out, it could help younger athletes know that being in the closet doesn’t need to happen.
“Michael has shown great courage in taking this step and not only do we support him, we are incredibly grateful. His decision to welcome us all into his world as he embarks upon a professional NFL career is an honorable one. This moment will resonate in a unique and important way for countless people, particularly LGBT youth,” said human rights activist Brendon Ayanbadejo, the former Baltimore Ravens player who has been advising Sam. Ayanbadejo is a member of the Athlete Ally Board of Directors, a group that fights homophobia in sports.
An out NFL player would mean a big challenge for both players and the NFL. The NFL already has non-discrimination policies in place. Fan Anthony Amado wants to think that the NFL would be an inclusive place, and while the organization might be, there is no telling what individual players might actually think or feel.